After a whirlwind 36 hours in Denmark, including visiting a micro cacao plantation in a greenhouse in the Danish countryside and doing yoga in Christiania with one of its longest-standing residents, it was now time to hit Malmo – Sweden’s third largest city, and one that is fast making a name for itself in the sustainable living category!
Yet another early start, up at 5.30am heading back to Christiania, nothing beats practicing yoga in a cozy wooden loft, jam-packed with enough Aloe Vera plants to keep Holland and Barratt supplied for a year, above a fragrant apothecary, overlooking one of Europe’s most successful independent, self-governing Freetowns – strictly NOT part of the EU.
*Edited 2018 to reflect on the devastating news that Stace Bancroft – yogi, resident of Christiania and inspiration to the world – past away February 16th 2018. You were and still are an inspiration. Stace, this story is for you. RIP. Gone, but never forgotten.*
After a 4am start in London, to catch an 8am flight from Luton airport, the last thing you want is to be stuck in an epic rainstorm without a brolly. Luckily, Copenhagen is full of delightful little districts and boutique food halls where you can shelter from the onslaught, and where I discovered Groed – just off Torvehallerne, Israels Plads – a small cafe specialising in porridge so good Goldie Locks would have been proud.
Next morning it was an early start as we set off for Tallinn, in Estonia, a 3.5 hour ferry ride away. Now Estonia is a fascinating country, as are many of the far Eastern European countries. Filled with culture, myths and history, often with a fine selection of well-preserved medieval walled towns. Tallinn is one such town, dating back to the 13th Century it’s earliest name was in Russian, but in 1219, after the Danish conquest it became known in German, Danish and Swedish languages as ‘Reval’.
Today was a day for exploring Helsinki city…and to find the elusive reindeer steak we so desperately desired. After our prisoner’s breakfast at the hotel we set off on our way.
If you’re up for an interesting yet quiet Easter Break, head to Helsinki in Finland. It’s not usually the tourist destination of choice for Easter because a) it’s still cold, very cold and b) almost everything is closed (because it’s Easter, surprise surprise). But you can stay in a converted prison, which is pretty cool!
Often when you have family spread across the globe it can be hard (and costly) to get everyone together in one place. With a Kiwi boyfriend who’s parents are in New Zealand and sister and family are in Holland, the logical solution for a summer holiday was Eastern Europe…in our case, Croatia.
Sunday morning arrived like a freight train full of angry cats. Finding a half eaten kebab on my night stand as I woke up fully clothed made me realise I was about to be struck by one almighty hangover, the promise of healing spa pools was to be the only thing to get me through today. My partner on the other hand, the picture of health and non-hangover wellness, excitedly tells me it’s time to check out and secure our luggage so we can get exploring. Given that our first stop today was 40 minutes outside of Budapest, not part of our Hop on Hop off Bus tour, and I was struggling to string a sensible sentence, we booked a taxi that our hotel were only too happy to help us with.
(Note to self, and anyone reading this: UNICUM is never a good idea, regardless of what the chatty Hungarian bar man will tell you the night before!) Continue reading “Soothing Sunday Scavenger Hunt”
Want a novel way to surprise a loved one for their birthday or other significant date? Take them on a surprise trip to a romantic Eastern European city, for the weekend. Budapest ticks all your geek boxes, and food related boxes too – history, architecture, politics, bars in tumbling down ruins, chocolate, glorious little unpretentious restaurants and some really awesome heated healing spa pools.
Friday had arrived at last, and armed with a comprehensive list of acts and shows to see, with a light sprinkling of pubs, restaurants and chocolate shops in need of visiting, I crammed onto an Edinburgh bound train from London Waterloo with what seemed like half of London’s sweaty, tired commuters kicking off the August Bank Holiday early!